This passage reminded me of my own little bit of frustration with thoughtless TSA/airport security rules last month. I was taking a plane out of Newark Airport and I had some letters with me which I forgot to drop in the mailbox on the way there. After I cleared security, I asked someone working there if there was a mailbox around, to which she replied that they had all been removed following September 11.
The obvious question this raises is “why?” Clearly, a bomb inside a mailbox is a very dangerous thing. When it explodes, in addition to the explosive fores of the bomb itself, it can transform the mailbox into a deadly projectile. That is why they are removed during parades and other events that might be the target of terrorism. However, what is the logic in removing mailboxes from airports post-security? If a terrorist takes the time and effort to construct a bomb and to take it through an airport, his target is not going to be the mailbox post-security. He is much better off putting such a bomb at a mailbox in a crowded urban environment, like a mall. The chances of getting caught at the airport are higher (though just how high is debatable) than they are on a random street in a major city. Therefore, the only reason to take a bomb through airport security is to target the airplanes so that one may cause panic about air travel, thereby causing massive economic damage to the country and making people nervous to fly. Blowing up people while on the ground does not have the same effect. Is it really too much to ask that our security officials stop, think and use logic to determine security measures more than a decade after 9/11?